Are you interested in helping us help writers learn how to combat cultural toxicity? To create fiction that is inclusive, and that better represents and reflects the world? Yes, it's possible. But we need your help to make it happen for more people.
We are Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford, authors, editors, and teachers who run online classes at WritingTheOther.com
. Since 2015 we've been giving writers the tools they need to create believable characters who differ from themselves in demographically significant ways: race, gender, ability, class, and more. This work started back in the mid-nineties, when Nisi and her Clarion West classmate Cynthia Ward developed the first in-person Writing the Other workshops. Then followed the book, first published in 2005, which brought together the talks and exercises. Now the online classes are expanding the repertoire further, drawing on and updating the lessons, exercises, and resources for the challenges writers face today.
Writing the Other aims to help authors at any point in their career path and from every background, including those who don’t fit the dominant paradigm. And including those who don’t have the money to pay us. To that end, in 2016 we created the Sentient Squid Scholarship Program. We call it that in secret honor of one of our early and continuing anonymous donors.
In 2016 and 2017 we were able to provide over $7,000 in Sentient Squid scholarships to single mothers, disabled workers, and other deserving applicants. Approximately 25% of our alumni benefited directly from gifts and grants enabling them to attend Writing the Other weekend intensives, multi-week courses, and specialized one-session Master Classes.
We count the program a huge success, and the alumni who've benefited from the scholarship fund thus far have made us proud. Here are a few testimonials:"I can’t begin to describe what I got out of being able to take this course, and I wouldn’t have been able to take it without [donor] contributions. I screamed when I got the email saying I’d received a scholarship, because I knew how amazing this opportunity would be.""Each Master Class gave me additional tools to see even more facets of the world in ways I hadn’t before; these tools are already helping to make my writing stronger with every new story. With pre-teen twins and a single-income household, there’s not a lot of money to spare on professional development for a non-earning writer—even though it helps lead to future earnings. [The scholarship] allowed me to participate at a level I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.""A scholarship to attend Writing the Other’s class on Deaf and Blind Characters came at a time when my family could not have afforded my attendance otherwise. The information has been incredibly valuable since the seminar, and I am pleased to say I prevented me from making grave errors in writing a blind character in my work in progress."
Our scholarship program was so successful over the past two years that we want to expand it in 2018 along with our class offerings. We're planning many more classes for new students and for alumni, and our goal is to set aside at least one quarter (or more) of each course's seats for scholarship students. To realize this goal, we're looking to raise $10,000.
Will you please donate to help continue this great enterprise? Your gift can help us ensure scholarship spots in all 2018 classes. And because the Sentient Squid Scholarship Program is fiscally sponsored by the Speculative Literature Foundation, a 501-c(3) nonprofit organization, you may be able to deduct this gift from your taxable income (depending on the tax regulations of your government).
A donation from you would really help to support more voices telling more and more inclusive stories.
YouCaring doesn't have an automatic rewards system, but we are offering some to folks who donate at specific levels. We'll reveal more awards as we hit specific fundraising goals!$5 Donation - Writing the Other Resources
Over the years we've been teaching the classes online we've put together a sizable list of links to resources on writing more inclusive fiction that we share with our students. All donors who give $5 or more will get access to this list of links as well!$50 Donation - The WtO eBook Pack #1
Donors at this level will get an ePub copy of:
$100 Donation - One Master Class
- Writing the Other - A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward
- Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F edited by Jim C. Hines
- Invisible 2 edited by Jim C. Hines
Donors at this level will get access to their choice of one of our on demand Master Class webinars
.$250 Donation - 30 Minute Video Chat
Donors at this level can get a 30 minute video chat with either Nisi Shawl or K. Tempest Bradford. Ask us anything! $300 Donation - All Master Classes
Donors at this level will get access to all four Master Class webinars
.$500 Donation - A Short Story Critique
Donors at this level can get a critique of a story up to 8,000 words from both Tempest and Nisi.